In the last week parliament has had the chance to tackle two of the most glaring injustices for private tenants and flunked both of them.
After debates in the Lords on Monday and Commons on Friday, letting agents are free to carry on charging outrageous fees to tenants and landlords can continue to evict tenants in retaliation for complaining about unsafe conditions.
The last word on Friday afternoon went to one of the villains of the week proved to be ironically apt. ‘We must not treat the people who enter into these contracts as imbeciles,’ was the very last sentence uttered by Christopher Chope before the debate was terminated and he and Conservative backbench colleague Philip Davies completed their successful attempt to talk out the Tenancies (Reform) Bill.
The French housing market is ‘in meltdown’ after housing starts plunged to the crisis level of double what we are managing on this side of the Channel.
President Francois Hollande reconvenes his Cabinet today after returning from holiday with ministers working on a recovery package topped by measures to stimulate the construction industry.
Syria rather than housebuilding may be the reason why David Cameron cut short his holiday in Cornwall but the economic mood here could hardly be more different. House prices are up 10.2 per cent in the last year and ministers claim that their ‘long-term economic plan is getting Britain building again’.
There are no prizes for guessing which of the two countries saw 306,654 housing starts in the year to June and which will be lucky to manage 160,000 over the same period.
-> Read the rest of this post on Inside Edge, my blog for Inside Housing